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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Jun 2011 (Monday) 15:21
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Why are there so few zooms in the 5x-9x range (and no FF ones)?

 
arentol
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Jun 13, 2011 15:21 |  #1

I am very casually in the market for a general purpose zoom. By this I mean something with good, if not great IQ, that is reasonably wide (30mm or less) but that also reaches out a decent amount (150mm or more). I want it just so I will have something to carry around when I only want to carry one lens. However, I don't want something of mediocre image quality, and I don't want to spend $2k+ either.

Research into my options has revealed something to me. There are almost no lenses in the 5x-9x zoom range, and none that are FF capable. This is unfortunate as that is the range most likely to meet my needs, where a lens could have a large general purpose zoom range while not giving up massive amounts of image quality. I don't know why all the manufacturers leave this massive gap in their offerings, but I think it sucks.

If we break down zooms into four ranges then look at the zooms currently listed on BH this is the result:

Short Zoom Range (~1.5x-3x) = 32
Medium Zoom Range (~3x-5x) = 24
Very Long Zoom Range (~9x+) = 11

Based on the other groupings logic would dictate that there should be about 16 Long Zooms available. How many are there?

Long Zoom Range (~5x-9x) = 3

Yup, only 3, and all of those APS-C only.

So why is this huge zoom range basically empty? I can think of half a dozen nice zooms that could fall in here nicely and could potentially be very good lenses if done right. Is there just no interest? Is there a technical challenge that > 10x and < 5x can avoid? It just doesn't make sense to me why this area is skipped.

The main lens I would be interested in would fall somewhere in here:

24 to 30mm - 150 to 225mm f/3.5-5.6 IS.

For instance, if a 28-200 was released with IQ a bit better than the 18-135 (29-216 equivalent), and for at most a couple hundred more than the 18-135, I don't see how it could fail to sell well. Give it L level treatment and quality and sell it for twice the 18-135 price and the only downside would be all the 28-300 sales it would cannibalize.


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Sp1207
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Jun 13, 2011 15:29 |  #2

Tamron 18-270?


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mrbubbles
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Jun 13, 2011 15:30 |  #3

You are referencing "super zooms" with long ranges from wide to telephoto. These types of lenses are just simply very hard to make at a decent price because of how complicated the optics are.


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kf095
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Jun 13, 2011 15:33 |  #4

x9 range zoom lens on FF would be successful downgrade to modern P&S IQ level. :rolleyes:
I don't think where are many FF users who purchased it to use as P&S.


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arentol
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Jun 13, 2011 15:41 |  #5

Sp1207 wrote in post #12586736 (external link)
Tamron 18-270?

That is an APS-C 15x zoom which has made massive IQ compromises to get that zoom range. For a 15x at its price it is really good. But it doesn't come close to the IQ of any 5x zooms at a similar price point. I am asking why no 7x or 8x lenses which shouldn't compromise IQ nearly as much over a 5x as jumping to 10 or 15x does.


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plasticmotif
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Jun 13, 2011 15:41 |  #6

Nikon has one of those for FF. It's pretty well reviewed as well.


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arentol
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Jun 13, 2011 15:44 |  #7

mrbubbles wrote in post #12586745 (external link)
You are referencing "super zooms" with long ranges from wide to telephoto. These types of lenses are just simply very hard to make at a decent price because of how complicated the optics are.

No I am not. Super zooms are generally considered 10x+ I am talking about 7x. That is A LOT shorter range than a 10x, and should have better IQ as a result.

Consider for instance the 18-135. It is no 17-50, or even 15-85, but it is HELLA better than any 18-200 out there because it doesn't have to make so many compromises for the extra 65mm's.


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tkbslc
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Jun 13, 2011 15:51 |  #8

Canon 28-200? Tamron 28-300 VC?

I think the reason there are not many is that right now the cheapest Digital FF camera is $2000 (Sony A850). Also, longer range zoom lenses (yes 7x is a long range zoom) have mediocre image quality. Do people buy a $2000-7000 camera so they can have mediocre IQ? Do that many people want to take their 5Dmk2 as a holiday snapshot camera?

Actually the 18-135 IS is not any better than the 18-200 IS in the shared zoom range.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=1​&APIComp=1 (external link)


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TheBurningCrown
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Jun 13, 2011 15:52 |  #9

arentol wrote in post #12586847 (external link)
No I am not. Super zooms are generally considered 10x+ I am talking about 7x. That is A LOT shorter range than a 10x, and should have better IQ as a result.

...you kind of are.

Generally speaking, zooms are a compromise of quality for versatility. Most of the zooms you see either try to maximize their quality and achieve a relatively small "zoom" (17-40, 24-70, 70-200...), or try to maximize their "zoom"-ability and achieve a relatively poor quality (18-270).

So-called super-zooms are the "ultimate" versatility, but of course come with mediocre image quality. 7x or 10x is a relatively futile comparison - if you're going to go that long, why not go all the way (diminishing returns)?


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pulsar123
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Jun 13, 2011 15:52 |  #10

My opinion: FF is reserved for pros and semi-pros, and super-zooms (>5x) are can only be made with mediocre IQ with the current technology, that's why you won't see super-zoom for FF for some time to come.


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gonzogolf
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Jun 13, 2011 15:58 |  #11

arentol wrote in post #12586847 (external link)
No I am not. Super zooms are generally considered 10x+ I am talking about 7x. That is A LOT shorter range than a 10x, and should have better IQ as a result.

Consider for instance the 18-135. It is no 17-50, or even 15-85, but it is HELLA better than any 18-200 out there because it doesn't have to make so many compromises for the extra 65mm's.

By whose definition? Perhaps thats how its applied to point and shoots. But the key point is that anything over about 3 results in some compromises that show up in DSLR lenses.




  
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Mystwalker
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Jun 13, 2011 16:02 |  #12

I am not lens engineer so this is just a wild guess.

The bigger the range difference 17-40 vs 17-250 the more lens component (glass?) required.
Add in the laws of physics (which confused me) and I bet a 17-250 with semi-decent IQ will be extremely expensive. Nevermind keeping it a fixed f/4.0. Plus will probably weight a ton.

Someone probably figured a pro is more likely to carry a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 then one 17-250 that weighs more then the other three combined. An amateur will probably not shell out over $2000 for one lens.




  
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TheBurningCrown
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Jun 13, 2011 16:04 |  #13

Mystwalker wrote in post #12586954 (external link)
An amateur will probably not shell out over $2000 for one lens.

Yup. Who would be that foolish?

:mrgreen::wink:


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gonzogolf
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Jun 13, 2011 16:06 |  #14

There is always this...
http://www.usa.canon.c​om …8_300mm_f_3_5_5​_6l_is_usm (external link)




  
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tkbslc
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Jun 13, 2011 16:10 |  #15

Yep, that's what happens when they make an excellent big zoom lens. $2500, 7.5" long and 3.5 pounds. And it still won't hold a candle to the 70-200 f2.8 IS II for the same price.


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Why are there so few zooms in the 5x-9x range (and no FF ones)?
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